tv Andrew Mc Cabe and Carl Bernstein on Loyalty and Betrayal CSPAN October 11, 2019 12:04pm-1:28pm EDT
andrew mccabe said agency heads knew the steele dossier had issues but felt it needed to be investigated. that's not part of a justice department investigation into the handling of the 2016 presidential campaign information which ended in the mueller report. he was interviewed by journalist carl bernstein. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you so much for that warm welcome, and good evening. ladies and gentlemen, distinguishedin guests, student, and all members s of the new school community. thanks so much for inviting me to speak to you here tonight. it is truly an honor to address a group as engaged and, quite frankly, as large, that's a bit terrifying for me, as you all are right now. but also to be able to on the
100th anniversary ofy the new school, so congratulations on your anniversary and thank you for making me a part of it. tonight i'd like to talk to you a bit about loyalty and about how my experiences in the fbi showed me the majesty and the power of loyalty at its best. and the danger and manipulation of loyalty in pursuit of self interests. the model of the fbi is the fidelity, bravery, and integrity. so it begins with fidelity. fidelity, what is that? the quality or state of being faithful. and . and what is faithful? according to merriam-webster, hateful is steadfast and affection or allegiance and loyal. so i think it's appropriate that at the fbi, you begin swearing
an oath of loyalty to the concepts and the principles that we dedicate ourselves to during the course of our career. my beginning took place on a hot sunday night in july of 1996. i had been suffering as a miserable a attorney -- other miserable attorneys in the ideas? york city so i know there are some miserable attorneys in the audience. i feel you. [laughing] i was working. i really wantlo onto the idea of becoming an agent while i was in law school. the fbi was under a hiring freeze cycle graduate from high school. i went to work att a small firm and camden, new jersey, wonderful town. [laughing] i merely put my application in as soon as they started accepting them, and i waited and waited. and i remember, i remember most viscerally on april 19, thank you 95, sitting in my office the
day that timothy mcveigh drove a ryder truck up to the front of the alfred p. murrah federal building in oklahoma city. he detonated that truck killing 168 americans and injuring about 500 others. and i spent the entire day sitting in my office staring at the wall listening to the radio, with no work. i could not break away from the coverage of that event. it was something about what was happening on the ground. i couldn't explain it to myself that time, but i knew i wanted to be there. i just don't need to be a part of that, to be in the rubble, inside the smoking hole helping those innocent people have been touched so dreadfully by terrorism, and most importantly, the part of that team is going to have the responsibility to find the people who were
responsible and bringing them to justice. cyber never that time as being particularly stuff, waiting for the fbi to give me the call. i did get it eventually join 1997 so on that sunday night packed up my stuff, go down to quantico, virginia. at quantico is a very regimented place. you are told exactly where to be at every b minute of the day and you must be early and don't be late, and the whole nine yards. as soon as we got there we were told you have half an hour to eat and then put on a suit and tie and report to the classroom, where we were sworn in as special agents in training in the fbi. your very first night in the fbi. you don't sleep until you gather together with your class of 40 or so and you hold up your right hand and take the following oath. you begin by saying, i, andrew
mccabe -- of course you wouldn't say andrew mccabe your you would say your own names. don't get hung up on that. do solemnly swear that i will support and defend thetu constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that is the phrase that gets me the most. everybody thinks about the first clause, the i will defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, which is strike an important and powerful, but it's the second clause that really defines what you do as an fbi agent. i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, to the same constitution, that binds us all to the principles of freedom,ri fairness, and justic. that is the source, that's what you become loyal to when you
make that both. notably -- oath. notably, there is no, president in that oath. there is no a little cool party in that oath. there is no race, no gender, no debt shoe orientation. it is simply the pledge of loyalty to the document that binds us together as americans. it is the same oath that every public servant and the united states takes. -- government takes. with each oft us it carries the same meaning. basically, that we will do our job, whatever it is, in accordance with the principles of that constitution for the betterment of all americans. i started to learn how this happens, when i had the opportunity, my first office of assignment, right here in the big apple, new york city field office not too far down broadway
from where we are sitting tonight. i was first assigned there as an agent on the russian organized crime task force. i know, ironic, right? [laughing] coincidence or not? [laughing] not sure. nott sure, but there i had the opportunity to work alongside other people who had taken the same oath as me, people who shared the same values and have dedicated themselves to those values in a visceral and day-to-day level. also had the opportunity to wor leaders who showed me by example what it meant to be loyal to those concepts, to those ideals and those values. and i had the ability to interact with and help victims of crime, who intrinsically knew
that our loyalty to those concepts meant that we would help them, no matter who they were or where they were from what the immigration status was or anything else. probably the best example i can give of this is my first big case on my squad. still very new in the new york office, i knew enough that our short up early, which no one in the new york office does. i was not seasoned enough to realize that our days dragged on into the evenings and it was better to come in a little later. nevertheless, i was the only one there when the phone rang one morning, and on the phone i hear this gravelly voice of a man with a heavy russian accent who says to me -- first, , i had to introduce myself. i said hello, mccabe, fbi. then i giggled because i couldn't believe i was actually saying it. [laughing] and the manwa on the other end
said, i think i am being racketeer. i was like, that's extraordinary. i never thought of that word as a verb sorted in that way. [laughing] but okay, let's go with it. i talked to him and he laid out a story for me. felix was a richer store owner, he was here on a green card, had been in many years and he was the community about the furniture store owners, all russian, hard-working people, not making a a lot of money but making their way in this country, paying taxes, living their lives inn the same way tht all of us do. earlier in his career he had a partner, a guy named dimitri dimitri left the store, went back to russia, spent a year in moscow and then returned to brooklyn with an approach on life. dimitri decided he would become a gangster conflate built around itself a small crew of thugs and he set about doing what gangster
do which is taking advantage of people in their own communities and extorting them for things like protection money and collection kidnappings and things like that. so dimitri had come to felix and said i'm going to get all the furniture store owners together andd they're all going to start paying me for protection, and i need you to help you with this. i need you to pull them altogether. felix was outraged, outraged. he was nervous because he had a family and children. dimitri knew them well, where he lived, but he was outraged and humiliated and what dimitri was demanded from him and his friends. and remember him saying to me on the phone, i don't need him because i have you. and i knew in that moment, like the fact that he came from a place where he could never have that level of faith and trust in
the law f enforcement officers that he interacted with day-to-day. but here it was different. here he had that sort of faith and trust inth our system. he knew that as a member of this esteemed institution, the fbi, that i would remain loyal in my oath and to those principles that my organization stands for, and i would actually help him. and we did. that was why felix was inclined when we asked him to go to a meeting, to organize this racket, wearing a concealed recording device. he didn't want to do it. he was scared that he trusted us and he did it anyways. and that's why when we came ouf that meeting andou dimitri saido him on the street, referring to a woman who owned a store who refuse to pay, i want the woman beaten and of water in the hospital for at least two weeks.
and with that recording, we're able to make what turned out to be an unbelievable case. but it was experiences like that, working cases with people that we interactedrk with across every sector of life in the city, we saw the value in the strength that our own loyalty place in the people that we worked with and have it translated into justice. i also had the chance at that time here in new york and, of course, later at headquarters to work for great leaders, leaders who taught me about creating environments of trust within the people you lead. so my first later hit in newark was a guy named ray, our squad supervisor, , alleged in the new york city field office. ray would come in every morning around eight, 8:30 and is in the office until 8:30, nine, ten a clock every night. the last few hoursrs of everyday ray would spend just talking to
us, talk to us about our cases, talking to us about our performance can listen to his complaint about our prosecutors, which we did fairly frequently, but also talking to us about our wives and our kids and the renovations we were trying to do ourselves on our first houses, and how do you put a deck in the backyard. he was just therefore pose. he was a guy guy who connected with us on a very personal level, and he exemplified a level of excellence and honesty and integrity that we all aspired to mimic in our own lives in the way we worked our own cases. later, when i moved to headquarters, i had the opportunity to work very closely for many years with director mueller. so the best way i can describe director mueller to you is he is exactly the guy that you heard about. he fits the description to i.t.
people that really got this guy figured out. he is the consummate investigator, the prosecutor, the cross examiner. director mueller never met a case he didn't love, and wanted to get right down in the weeds of everyone every one of it. and would use that knowledge tot grill us at the table in the morning. he would ask usthin questions, , constantly challenge our knowledge of effects and whether or not we followed up on the things he asked herow to do the dayus before. and although that was mildly terrifying and stressful at the time, i realize later as a leader in the fbi of what he was doing was teaching us and communicating the level of excellence, the level of understanding that he demanded of each of us. . terrorism it is not like you get most of them, you have to get them all,
and understanding those demands director mueller communicated us can exactly how much emphasis he placed on our expertise but he is also incredibly fair-minded, and although he can push you to the limits, he was the same guy who called me the day after -- i got hit by a car riding my bicycle, to find out how i was doing. i was heavily on painkillers, so it was a strange conversation i cannot exactly recount at this moment, but another caring, moral leader with integrity who served as a great example to the people he led. my shock whengine 2017, evening of may 9, after having been informed half an hour earlier by the attorney general that he had to fire the ,bi director, i received a call
my staff received a call, the president would like to see you in the oval office. so i had never been to the oval office. i had been to a thousand meetings in the white house, the situation room, members of the national security council, some of which were attended by president obama, but i had never met with president in the oval office. simply as a career government servant going to the oval office is an awe-inspiring event, no matter who is sitting in the office at the time. , presidented in trump was seated behind the resolute desk, the incredible, solid desk. he popped up quickly, came around the desk, put his hand outstretched, his fingers outstretched, he immediately shook my hand and begin talking. i know, you are surprised.
[laughter] mr. mccabe: president trump is an overwhelming communicator. he is a big man. he speaks loudly and constantly. oflaunched into a tirade really statements, not so much questions, just statements, which i later learned was his way of informing me of the facts he wished me to adopt. he said, so glad you are here. this is going to be great. [indiscernible] everybody is happy. did you hear them everybody is happy about this? [indiscernible] happy about this at the fbi building? isn't this great. isn't this terrific? yeah, fortunate he did with the question. he said, i heard you were part andhe resistance,
[indiscernible] i am not sure i understand what you mean. he said, i heard you were part of the group that didn't like jim comey. you didn't approve what he did in these cases. you didn't agree with him. wayaid, you objected to the he worked to these cases, is that right? said, no, sir, that is not right. i worked very closely with jim comey and we worked on this cases together. i was a part of most of those decisions, most of them. i know that some people have disagreements with the way that we handled some of our decisions, but i was part of that team, so i don't think you are correct about that. , my impulse was to answer the question honestly, because that is what we do. it was only later that i realize
that this was my loyalty test. jim comey had notoriously had his in his private dinner with the president shortly after his inauguration, when the president came out and said, i need you to be loyal. there was no interpretation needed there. it was pretty direct. i realized this was my version of that same loyalty test. the president clearly laid out -- i don't want to call them facts -- alternative facts? ,hat he wished i would adopt then gave me that opportunity come put that lifeline in the water, saying you are either with us or against us. it did not even occur to me at the time to respond to that in any other way other than to correct [indiscernible] several other interactions with him, the next morning on the telephone, and then later that day in the afternoon, then a follow-up meeting i had with him a few weeks later.
i saw things about president trump's leadership style that i had never seen in the fbi. i saw the way his staff and advisors would sit at attention in a small row of chairs gathered in front of the resolute desk. -- he andway he tried his advisors -- tried to manipulate me into inviting him to speak at the hoover building that week. reflexivelyy he again and again came back [indiscernible] campaign in a state of virginia -- the state of virginia in 2015, consistently referring it to it as that mistake that i made. this was not a leader who was creating an environment of trust. these were obvious efforts to coerce me into a position to take that loyalty i had and shift it to loyalty to a person
rather than to an ideal, rather than to the constitution. we all know how this story plays out, unfortunately. over the days that followed those meetings, i had the opportunity or the obligation to make a series of decisions that ultimately, i believe, led to my own firing from the fbi, in some way. those decisions have been characterized as acts of treason , and we have been referred, a group of us that worked on those issues, referred to as plotting a coup to overturn the presidency. i think those words are lies. i think they are intentionally weaponized to gather people's attention to a certain set of talking points.
to leave it up to you. we can tell you exactly what we saw, exactly what we knew at that time, and what we thought of the decisions we were making, and you can be the judge as to whether those decisions were an act of professional integrity and loyalty to the responsibilities we had at the time, or some sort of treasonous coup. so i'm going to ask you to put on your investigators hat and think about the facts that we had in our hands over the period leading up to the firing of jim comey and immediately after. the standard for opening an fbi case, as given to us by the attorney general and the attorney general's guidelines, is when we have information to indicate that a threat to national security might exist or
that a federal crime might have taken place. that is the standard to open a full field investigation. so, go back in time, through your investigators landens. knewand through 2015, we that the russian government was behind an aggressive series of cyber attacks that were focused on institutions, government institutions in d.c. at the highest level. we weren't sure why they were doing it, but we knew they were behind the activity. we see the aggression and the targeting of that activity becomes even more specific.
we then uncover signs that the democratic national committee may be a target of cyber activity. so we go through a period of fits and starts where we don't communicate very well with the dnc, telling them they should check their systems and see if they see evidence of this probing and intelligence collection. as we get deeper into 2016, we see that activity is focused specifically on emails at the dnc and other places associated with hillary clinton her campaign. may ofwnst to us, in 2016, an individual with the trump campaign, george papadopoulos, has a meeting with a friendly foreign diplomat in which he tells that diplomat that the russians have informed them that they have a lot of negative information about
candidate clinton and they offered to help the campaign using that information. but we don't know this in may. now we see the information we isw the russians have taken actually weaponized. it is released on the eve of the convention in an effort to harm candidate clinton. seeing that activity, the friendly foreign diplomat realizes the significance of the information he has received from mr. papadopoulos, and he passes that to us. in 2016, wef july had known for a while that russians were targeting our political systems through cyber means, we know they've taken this information from the democratic infrastructure, and now we know from someone in the campaign that they were at least
aware of the fact that the russians had this information and were willing to make it available. the obvious question then is, is it possible, do we now have information that our most significant adversary on the world stage might be working in concert with a domestic political campaign to undermine the stability and sanctity of our democratic elections? we make that decision to open the russia case on that reason. are wen we think, who actually going to investigate? who do we know who is associated with the campaign who has known significant ties to russian intelligence? we come up with names that will not surprise you. mr. papadopoulos, because he made the statement. paul manafort, who was well
known before that time to have had high-level political contacts in ukraine with candidates supported by russia. , who engaged in high-level and public interactions with vladimir putin and other russians. and an individual named carter page. carter page was a guy who was known to us for many years, who had come up in an earlier counterintelligence case, who had been interviewed and alerted by our agents to the concerns we had about people he was interacting with, and then shared that information with them after the briefing. carter was a person who had significant former contacts with russian intelligence agents. we go into the fall. the intelligence community comes together and produces the intelligence community assessment, which concludes
unanimously across our three sgencies that the russian intentionally meddled in the campaign. trump is inaugurated in january andbegins a series of odd concerning actions with director comey, in which he requests loyalty, in which he requests that we make a public statement, that we lift the cloud over his investigation. these are all concerning us. sks us to close the investigation into michael flynn. until that point, we were never quite sure, are these odd interactions and requests just someone who doesn't understand the intricacies and sensitivity of the white house fbi relationship, but with the
request to close the flynn investigation, it became clear to us, he did not like the fact that we were investigating russian involvement in that campaign. may --n of course in [inaudible] the day before that is made final, he asks the deputy attorney general to write a memo justifying the firing, and he asks the deputy attorney general, please put russia in your memo. the deputy attorney general says, i don't think that is a good idea. director, hes the news lester holt on the that when he fired the director, he was thinking about russia. the next day, he tells the russians that he fired the director and has relieved a lot of pressure from the russia investigation.
, and yourknowledge investigator hats are tightly pulled down over your heads, ask yourself, have we met the standard for an investigation? do we have information that might indicate that a threat to national security could exist, or that a federal crime could have been committed? that was the question that confronted me on may 9 and in the days following when we determined to open a case on the president of the united states. treason, the plotting of a coup against the united states of america, i think not. what it was, was us doing our job. we are the investigators. we are not the prosecutors. we are not the judge. using facts toe
predicate it. we didn't do it because we thought it would be cool or fun or interesting. we didn't do it to help one side or hurt the other side. we did it simply because it was our responsibility to do so and we take that responsibility incredibly seriously. to not do so under those circumstances would have been a dereliction of duty, would have been a failure in the loyalty we had all pledged to that constitution. timeil to act at that because the person involved was the president of the united states would have been even worse. we would have been undermining the bedrock assumption that all people in this country, none of them are above the law, including the president.
we remain loyal to that oath, to that responsibility, and to our commitment to treat everyone the same under the law. are, two years later, still struggling with the same concepts. we still hear words like deep state, treason, plotting coups. the frustrating thing for me in the way that our work has been, i think, unfairly criticized, is that it also vilifies the good work of men and women who are devoted to the service. and by doing though, it dishonors their commitment and the value they bring to our lives. i worry about our ability to continue to attract the best and brightest to lives in public service. i worry about those former colleagues of mine who continue to serve in government and who have to confront the same sort
of questions that we did. do you stand up -- [inaudible] so you run the --k of being publicly [inaudible] hoursbe being fired 26 before you achieve your pension. you, concerned citizens, politically aware people who care about your community, who care about these issues, my only request is that in any way that you can you stand up. stand up for the things you believe in. speak out about the things you see that are wrong. do it even when it is hard. do it even when it could hurt you personally. after everything i've been through, i stand here before you
battered but not broken and i can honestly tell you, if taken back to those times, i would do the same thing tomorrow. it is worth it for the men and women who are serving today. it is worth it for the whistleblower who stepped up and kind of thrust us into the current controversy that we are thinking about. that is the way out of a time when concepts like loyalty have disfiguredyed and into pledges of personal loyalty . we get back from this time by focusing on those things that unite us, that commitment to the constitution, and the beautiful concepts that it embodies for everyone. thank you very much for so thank you very much for listening, and i will not ask
about a person's journey through national service and where that national service has broken down, and also about where we are in the country today. i think there's a lot to learn in here. and in whatt you just touched o, it's raised a number of both specific and general questions that i would like to ask you. but let's start l with the firs, given what we've seen of the temperament of the president of the united states in the last week. what's not in your book, i believe, is a discussion you were present at about the invocation of the 25th amendment. what provoked that discussion, who had it? tell us about. >> share.
sure you're in the days following jim's firing at a series of meetings with a deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, first in a one-on-one exchange on the friday of that week so that what it been the 12th, and it over the days that followed. slightly larger groups of peopl people. it was in one of those first meetings that rod raise the idea of the 25th amendment. in the course of a wild and chaotic conversation about the president had done and what he may have been thinking when he did it. >> what the president t had done specifically when and where? >> so rod and i were discussing of course the filing of jim comey and why jim had been fired, and whether or not the president was, you know, it was more to it essentially than the reasons that rod memorialized in
his memo. in the course of that conversation that rod first offered to wear a wire into the white house. >> do you remember his words? >> i do remember him saying that -- point of the fact he didn't get searched when he went into the west wing and so, therefore, he felt he could wear at recording device and no one would know he had it. >> so there could be nothing to the story, given your description that this was some kind of joke. >> it absolutely was not a joke, no. in fact, he raised it in front of others in later meetings and select point at the people that he made this offer. i atnt first thought it was an unbelievably bad idea. i kind of put the whole thing aside by saying, i'll talk to the investigative team and if that something to want to do, and i will come back to you and ask you for that authority, and, of course, we never did. i remember going back and told
him my team at fbi headquarters which included the general counsel jim baker andar other senior leaders were working the case, you know, you're not going to believe this but the deputy attorney general offered to wire up into the white house. the fbi's lawyer, jim baker who is an incredibly wonderful guy and a very good lawyer but also has a a tendency to be a little bit stressed out, he was like, oh, my god, you're not doing that, you're not doing that. i'm not asking you. i just telling you the store for, effect. that's a son to ever consider doing. similarly, is, it's about the 25th amendment and whether or not the president was, was kind of capable of, and he would be inclined to support such an effort, which really i never considered it seriously in any way. so first of all it's not a process that the acting director of the fbi would have a role in.
>> who was in that discussion about the 25th amendment? >> brought brought it up, probably not in our first meeting but in a second or maybe third meeting. this is very small group of people, , myself, his chief of staff, another woman fromof the staff,f, and then a third meetig what it in one or two other people. >> and the reason for its invocation being a firing itself? or some temperamental -- >> it's hard for me to set exactly. i can't really fully describe for you how stressful the time was, and that stress was having a deep impact on mr. rosenstein. and the conversations we had were kind of freewheeling, off the top of his head, comments, sometimes we would go from discussing one person to another person. it wasn't entirely clear to me whether he was referring to a possible candidate for the special counsel or referring to some as a possible candidate for the directors job.
it was a a very chaotic and emotional exchange. >> but it did not go to a question about the presidents stability? >> no. it was more like rod was coming musing on the top of his head about who would support such an effort? who else would think that the president -- >> but you would have to do it to the cabinet. >> that's right. >> talk about those chairs lined up, well, that's an idea. let's do the 25th amendment on this guy. >> it's not something that ever turn into an actual effort as far as i'm aware. it was an offhanded mention, what itfa didn't even include in my own book. >> there's been a lot of talk about, by the president of the united states, by those around him, by the attorney general of the united states about a deep state, and some kind of deep
state plot that really it's not the russians who were behind everything, but rather there's something deeper here that goes to others, goes to the democrats, goes who knows where it goes. and yet isn't there a real history in the institution that you work for, in the cia, not that long ago, evidence of a real and dangerous deep state, in terms of, that existed under fbi director hoover, in the committees of congress, the house un-american activities committee, the cia and spying on, breaking into people's premises who were under
suspicion? so when did this deep state ceased to exist, if you accept, and you accept, that the fbi at some point was part of something that might be called deep state? >> i wouldn't propose to define concept, but i will absolutely say that in the course of the fbi's history, when you look back on the fbi intelligence program, there were decades of illegal activity, activity that quite frankly was an embarrassment to the institution and to the nation, and should never have taken place. our history, particularly on the intel side, is checkered at best. not the defining moment was truly the church commission hearings, the efforts of people like bobby kennedy and others
who confronted this thing had on, and ultimately brought the fbi to the place it is today. and i would suggest that the fbi that most people know and expect is the post hoover fbi. >> you came in 1996. >> i did, did, yes. >> and these types of activities, you saw nothing of. they were done by the time you got there? >> that would have been -- there are certain activities the fbi engages in that some people don't approve of, don't support, but they are nevertheless, lawful and closely scrutinized by the courts and congress. so the fbi of old were hoover basically cut political deals with enemies and foes alike and
used the agency essentially to his own, to the aggregation of his own power is not the fbi that i know. >> the mueller investigation, did the final report itself fall maximum use of what information was developed by the fbi and other investigators? and was or something in the way that the report was written or assembled that accounts for what i and other reporters were told a few weeks before the report was released that, quote, that i was given was that fbi senior officials and prosecutors under mr. mueller were demoralized by the final stages of the process? and but what was going into the report. were you aware of that? talk to us about that. >> i can't speak to the morale
of the team because i have not been connected with those folks since i left the bureau here i've heard the same reports but i can't say how i could that is. as for as the report goes, from my personal perspective, i was both kind of amazed and impressed by some aspects of it, and then a little disappointed by other aspects as well. i think much in the same way many folks who have really read and doug into speedy what disappointed you? and did mr. mueller's performance before congress disappoint you? >> so the report, when i read the report, particularly volume two about obstruction, that to me is very much a product of bob mueller not that he sat there
and wrote the n whole thing by himself, but what comes out of that volume is bob mueller's since the fairness and propriety. and bob mueller i think we as far as he possibly could to essentially call every ball in the air in the presidents favor. and despite that, in a report that details ten separate categories of obstructive behavior, i think in eight of those tenbe categories he finds that the presidents behavior is essentially satisfied all the elements of the offense of obstruction of justice. we knew that a limited himself to not, about come he followed assiduously the doj policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted, event andsi his own sense of fairness decided it would also be improper to say that anyone else who had committed these acts would
likely be charged with obstruction of justice. >> jaworski did the same thing also in the nixon investigation, jaworski also did not specifically accused nixon. he gave a roadmap. >> right. >> is that what mueller did? >> i believe it is. unfortunately, the roadmap is incredibly dense, tough to follow, and so when you lose the opportunity to kind ofun deliver that final conclusion, you lose a lot of the audience. in an effort that essentially, what happens with the report is based in some extent on how strongly people feel about it, you miss out on the opportunity to show folks how substantive it is.. you've got you really wade through the think thing with te lawyers eye for detail and investigators eye for detail and think it's unfortunate most people just don't have the time or interest. >> there's nothing in the report aseo i recall that talks about y significant communications between all manafort and donald
trump the candidate. did you or you are we aware ofh communications that more on the investigation that you undertook and that might not have been put in the report? can you telll us a bit about that? >> i do know but i can't tell you. [laughing] i'm kidding. [laughing] >> trying to make a little news. >> you've got to remember, we handed off this cases at a very kind of early stage. so i was not of any information at the time we had the cases off to the special counsel. and i don't know what they found a what they chose to put in what they chose to leave out. >> but you never saw any information n whatsoever, 302 or anything else that would have any bearing on conversations or
communications between manafort and the. president, the candidate? >> i am not aware of any information that i think should been given greater consideration that wasn't. >> okay. you were among those supervising the hillary clinton server investigation. >> that's right. >> did she undermine the national security of the united states in her installation and use of that server? >> i've been asked a lot of questions about that case, but not' that one. so good on you. look, i think that the entire staff infrastructure, it's not just secretary clinton, but her close associates and advisers and those communicants who are
interacting with her over the e-mail every day, they were, just the simple fact that they were doing so over architecture that doesn't, didn't carry the united states governments typical level of sadr city protections, that is dangerous activity. >> so was it d negligence? >> i'm not going to relitigate the legal call -- >> i don't mean in the legal sense actually. >> it was irresponsible, irresponsible acting. there are many reasons why they did that. they were hampered by particularly pour poor system e department. there were folks in that circle of communicants who were not tech savvy. theyey were operating under kind of intense demands. i've asked of the confident in our conclusion that none of them, the secretary or any effort associates, engaged in
that behavior intentionally, to violate the statute or to conceal or mishandle classified information. i don't believe they made, i don't believe they -- >> or to keep it from any possible eyes that might use it nefariously, like the vast right-wing conspiracy? >> that was our conclusion in the case, that ultimately at the end of the day come did we find a lot of misuse of the e-mail? yes. but we didn't find any evidence that it was done intentionally, and without that element of intent you cannott prove the offense and, therefore, we recommended that just not go further. >> during the campaign, before trump was nominated, did you think that by and large the press coverage of hillary clinton's server was unfair to
her? >> i don't know that i thought about it in terms of whether the press coverage was fair or unfair, but it was certainly a constant pressure on the work that we were doing. i often get asked like, why did you handle the case tivoli? why, when you open the case against the trump campaign to investigate the russians, you did that quietly, you did that covertly and so forth? but in the clinton case was wide open. you have to understand that the clinton case was public before we got it. the very referrals that we received from the state and ic ig that initiated the fbi investigation republic. the director and theig attorney general soon after we opened the case publicly acknowledged it.
so that public nature of the case drove a time at that reporting that you are referring to. so not only was what we were doing already public, the relentless reporting around every little issue really elevated the pressure to get that job done in in a way thatf we could, before it would have an impact on the campaign. thingsly, that's not how ended up. >> mr. barr, the attorney general, has been on a worldwide search for what he apparently believes that once to believe of this deep state conspiracy within the intelligence community and thepi obama administration, as the impetus for your investigation of the russian interference in the campaign. you said on cnn this week that the circumstances, and you described them, are not a mystery and that you touched on
the issues in the book, and you look told us a little bit about it here.. but what else about the instigation of the investigation haven't you told us? [laughing] >> and i think there is something. [laughing] >> that's why you're a great reported. never satisfied with what is already known. >> tells about what you might make your answer a little more fulsome. >> i can't, carl. as we walked through during my, church and i, like that is basically what we knew. we knew more detail about russian cyber activity and we knew more technical detail about what they're doing and how they're doing it, but those of course are details that i cannot share but essentially what -- >> have let anything big out? >> no. the exercise we went through, i do to specifically because people should understand that
the fbi, number one, the fbi doesn't just open cases because we think that's neat or he will get a lot of press something like that. we open cases when, under our authority, we think it's required to do so. that's called that threshold level of information is what you hear referred to as predication for a case. .. there is not a mystery. something that we got from malta >> it was justified.
>> that is a good point. two-year special counsel investigation resulted in -- what -- three dozen indictments, numerous questions, volume one of the report that lays out in detail. validating our concerns in july 2016 in may 2017. >> 2017. >> my reading of the molar report. there is a good deal they are. aspects of the trump campaign. >> extraordinary to me. they expose the level of detail about different agencies and how they work and what they do. if you're into that sort of thing, question about the
instigation of the question. the steel dossier. what role did it or did it not play? its accuracy or is it really intended to be a raw intelligence. some good sources, some bad sources. what is it and what is the role. >> it had no role in the initiation of the russia investigation. we didn't even have it. the investigation was0 open on july 30. we didn't even get it until mid, late september. it's played no role in the admission of the case. >> i am quite sure that it is.
>> it did play a role in our pursuit of a warrant to initiate electronic surveillance it is not the total of that request for authority. it was part of some of the information in that package. not all of it. i have been many times misquoted from closed testimony that i gave on the hill. it's easy to quote. that is frustrating. that we would not have gotten the warrant without the steel dossier. that is not and has never been my position. it is impossible now having sent the request in with the steel dossier and all the information about carter page, impossible
for anyone to say could you have gotten it without that. >> in the dossier itself, where there some good leads? .> yes yes. a lot of information that we could not disprove. there was a fair amount of information. >> a lot of information you could not disprove. >> that is right. a lot of information we knew was accurate, but always question in terms of timing. even if what the sources telling you is correct.s is there some other way he may have come across this information. >> my reading of it, you tell me if this seems right to you. i spent a good deal of time with it since the beginning.
steel did s not pretend that the information was definitive. rather, they were from sources and he was outside russia himself. sources from when he was inside russia that he could communicate with. some of them outside. some through intermediaries with people still inside. varying levels of which there is both plausibility, perhaps accuracy. it was not intended to be a definitive document. >> you are absolutely right. it is a raw source reporting. it is still presented as such. it's a kind of thing that we see often from sources. we knew steel was working a number of different sources. some sub sources. he would represent that.
it did not come with this is all gospel. this is what i am hearing. that is how good sources report tiered some of the information was consistent with the reporting we are getting from sources. that is always to his credit. steel hadad a history of good reporting. he had provided information on other cases. information that was judged to be so accurate that it was used in arrest warrants and indictments. he had a very solid track record and provided this information with accurately describing some of it. i am getting this from one person. i cannot vouch for this source and chain. just giving it to you for your information. >> we have microphones on either
side here. why don't you come over here in the two of you can mine up. i will call on somebody in the first row with the question. then i will repeat it while others line up. hello, bob. this is bob. a great journalist now publisher go to the mic. >> something i have never quite understood. it is an honor to be in the same room as you. if you are getting the same info , this intel in 15 and early 16 about the russians engaging in all kinds of cyber warfare, was this transmitted to the president of thes? united state? you have serious people and, i would assume if you are getting
this kind of intelligence, it would have been appropriate for obama to go to putin and say you better cut this out or really bad stuff is about to happen. did that happen? >> let me add to the question. did secretary clinton convey anything like that to the russians? >> okay. first of all, that was information that was known across the intelligence community. no question that people were aware of what was going on. your question gets right to the heart to a question we still struggle with. how does the intelligence community handle highly sensitive intelligence about
cyber activity if you go forward dand make this sort of warning r threats that you know what's going on, they very quickly moved to a different set of infrastructure. you lose the visibility on the threats. it's not dissimilar to the enestion you're always struggling with human sources, immediately turn turn around and use it in a search warrant or indictment. i risk burdening that source and they are no longer valuable. that same sort of concern in the cyber realm is even more sensitive little bit harder to grapple with. >> yes, sir.
>> the famous or infamous doj principles. 15% cannot be indicted. that second party. >> what is the question, though? >> this is a is a conflict of the high principal. the country has been following it from the beginning. nobody is above the law. nobody is above the law. >> you want to try and answer it ? >> sure. >> it is a policy of the department of justice. it is a policy based on the department of justice lawyers interpretation of the constitution. they feel it would be unconstitutional to indict a sitting president because it
essentially that it would take a president to defend himself personally, you are taking that resource away from the country that elected him. that is not saying i agree with their interpretation, but -- >> it goes back to nixon. the same decision was made. >> it could be reset in by the t department of justice. >> we are just going to do one point >> it has to do with the mental state of the president. >> question. >> something to do, something is wrong here. forcibly subject to a psychiatric evaluation.
>> i will take that one. >> what an agreement. >> can you hear it? >> yes. you are good now. >> i ask you this question. how concerned are you for where are we heading. [inaudible] >> i am absolutely optimistic about our future in the future of this nation. we are stronger than the times we are in right now. we've been through worst crises before. we've rallied around those things that bind us together.
understanding we all want to live in someplace that is free and fair and just. we have drifted from that at the moment. we asked some tough situations to get through before we get back to appreciating each other and where we are on that level. absolutely no doubt that we will get back to that time. what it will take is ethical transparent leadership that is truly dedicated to uniting this country and observing the rule of law. >> thank you. the lecture.for it is wonderful. i have a question about attorney general bar. i will keep it short. first off, why do you think ag is acting in the interest of the
president instead of taking on the more impartial decision? what do you think the bar's actions mean for the future of the department of justice. >> great questions. i think the first one, i really, really cannot answer. it would not be fair for me to speculate. it's more important to focus on the things he's actually doing. what departure this is from the attorney general thatt we have seen over the last several series of attorney generals. there is no questions that the efforts, the revelations of the last week traveling around the world in pursuing this investigation of the investigators is completely at consistent with the preferred political narrative. i think things like that are ultimately harmful to the
department. you know, again, i think that it will not be fatal to the department b, but we have to get back to a position where we all have faith that the leadership the department of justice is acting on the law and on the facts and not politics. >> you have suggestions or ideas do you want to apply for the next one? [laughter] >> there is a bit of mythology about the independence of the attorney general. you go back to watergate. remember to were implicated in watergate. one of whom went to jail for a considerable time. >> thank you for being an amazing role model. if you are irreparable damage to
gather intelligence, they have been kind of lost, do you feel that there has been irreparable damage? do you think that's training people is underrated? damage that is being done right now, i do not think that it is either repairable. my guess is it is more on the human side than the technical side. people in the community dedicate their lives to doing hard and stressful and dangerous often time work for the sole purpose of providing information and insight to the decision-makers. ultimately to the president of the united states. when they get back these consistent messages that the
president does not trust them, the president doesn't use the information they're sending, the president is not interested in educating himself about the issues of greatest concern, that is incredibly dispiriting for those people. my hope is they are hanging on through this hard time and when they once again work for a leader that appreciatesva and values their contribution, that they will be able to bounce back to the high level of performance they have always delivered. i hope people are discouraged they are leaving the community, that, again, i am i am optimistic for our ability to turn it around. >> my name is olivia. i'm a first year teaching student. i have a one part question. that question is your perspective, specifically more on the divisiveness of this nation.ic staying on the topic of loyalty
and betrayal. what would you say to the people, the american american people, specifically who are calling this whistleblower a treasonous or actually someone who is betraying this country? >> so incredibly damaging. it really impacts me personally because i've been the subject of those lies. as someone who spends my life, my career serving the country, to beal called a liar and guilty of treason is about as bad as it possibly gets. full disclosure, somebody who ran, an executive branch agency, whistleblowers are like, you know, not a happy day. he knows another whistleblower
out of your agency. nobody likes that, but we all understand and respect the role that whistleblowers play in keeping us a highly functioning and accountable organization. that report might expose all kinds of problems that you as a leader may have to deal with, and i can be inconvenient or embarrassing or what have you, but it is the way we address fraud waste and abuse. a traditional use of oversight. absolutely e sensual that feel comfortable if they are courageous enough and willing to step up and speak up that we have a legal regime set up thatl will protect them and provide for a fair and unbiased vetting of their complaints. when the president attacks the prwhistleblower, incomplete contravention of the whistleblower statute which is one of the laws that he has sworn an oath to see faithfully executeded, there is a little
conflict, it is incredibly damaging. i am sure it's terrifying for that person. >> testimony before congress. the discussion zeroed away from that. i'm raising a question again. should he not be more outspoken in informing the american public about what he had learned in the investigation? a more dynamic presentation. as someone who worked very
closely with director mueller, i understand that what we saw was incredibly cautious. director mueller clearly did not trust the questions and the way he would be pushed by either side in the hearing. did not want to be perceived as favoring one side or the other. did not stray one, one period, one word from the text of the report. he backed himself into a corner where he would not provide any answers beyond the report and i think that ultimately undermined the appeal and effectiveness of the testimony. >> he could have completed to make it better known to the public. >> the whole thing just did not come off, you know, you do the
testimony knowing most people will not read the 400 page report. people can have a more accessible way to understand what is there. i'm not sure they accomplish that. >> these are not normal times. we are seeing this with the evidence. it is there. the rule of law can only mean something if something is actually done about what is happening. i have two questions. >> one question. >> okay, whatever. let me read my question. if we don't take to the streets now, what will you do if trump is reelected? perhaps the electoral college. even if he loses the popular vote. what will you do if he loses the olelection even with the electol college count?
>> we will make that the last question. [laughter] >> i will let you go to town on that. >> it is a serious question. >> i totally understand your frustration. a couple of things. one, i think the thing to do now, you feel that way, get involved in the process. get out there and support the candidates and the people who you think s represent you and your community and this country. that is not just saying i think i will go to the polls. that, obviously, you have to do. get out there and work for the people you believe in. the best way to turn this over is through the process. i don't really know what taking it too the streets means. ultimately, you have to convince people to get off their butts.
vote for those leaders. as far as this concern that you hear voice pretty frequently now about whether or not the president will accept r the rest if he loses in 2020 or whenever, i don't really worry about that. a cordial departure. we have systems and processes and authority in this country. >> i get that. i understand what you are saying not willing to throw in the towel on that yet. we maybe see it differently. that is okay, too. i do think when the time comes it will be chaotic and uncomfortable.
ultimately, at the end of the day, the peaceful transition of power has been happening for 240 years. i have faith in our ability to make that happen again under any circumstance. >> i would like to think, first of all, all, the audience. also, for your extraordinary presentation. >> thank you. [applause] not knowgs we did about. >> thank you to you. [applause] >> president trump goes back on the campaign trail tonight holding a rally in lake charles, louisiana. we will have live coverage at eight eastern on c-span, c-span.org or listen on the free
app. here on c-span two featuring book tv programs showcasing what is available every weekend on c-span two. tonight we show you some of our in-depth guest. lee edwards took questions and talked about his books including the conservative revolution. a life in pursuit of liberty. journalist naomi klein talks about consumerism and climate change. takes questions on her books no logo. the shock doctrine and on fire the burning case for it green deal. joann freeman author of the field of blood, affairs of honor and essential hamilton. watch tonight tonight on c-span two. >> tough love. national security advisor and un
ambassador susan rice talks about her life and career. she is interviewed by robin wright. author and columnist for the new yorker. >> what are you worried about in the 2020 election? >> it has not stopped. this has been constant. they were very actively involved in 2016, as you saw. hacking and stealing e-mails from the dnc. they tried to infiltrate our electorate system. they put out false information. they were very active on social media trying to pit americans against each other. whether it is racer immigration. our guns and what have you. our whole thing is to discredit our democracy.